Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Loungers sales growth up by more than a quarter
Bar operator Loungers [LON:LGRS] has published results for the 24 weeks to 3rd October, with another story of outperformance as the hospitality sector reopens after earlier lockdowns. Like for like sales growth over the period is up by more than a quarter from pre-pandemic levels and the company notes that its suburban/market town focus leaves it better positioned given the increase in working from home. Whilst acknowledging the news regarding Omicron, there’s optimism that a strong Christmas season lies ahead and that growth will continue into the new year – whether there’s market consensus with that outlook given the recent variant news however remains to be seen.
#2. STV set to deliver record advertising revenues
Broadcaster STV Group [LON:STVG] has this morning provided a trading update reconfirming that it is on track to deliver record advertising revenues, up 22-24% on the 2020 figure and at least 10% higher than the number recorded in 2019. The market reaction here may be muted however as the update simply narrows the target range for revenue uptick, but management note that the speed of the advertising recovery has exceeded expectations.
#3. 888 awarded provisional sports betting license from Virginia Lottery
A quick note from betting company 888 [LON:888] who this morning have advised that they have been awarded a provisional sports betting license from the Virginia Lottery in the US. Sports betting in the state is relatively new but is already seeing significant growth, with almost $2bn wagered so far, $293m of that being in September, representing a 61% increase on the previous month. This takes the number of states 888 operates in to nine.